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Drake Bulldogs vs. Albany Great Danes - 12/23/13

Albany Great Danes (6-5) at Drake Bulldogs (7-3)

College Basketball: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm (Knapp Center)

The Line: Drake Bulldogs -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: None

The Drake Bulldogs welcome the Albany Great Danes on Monday evening in Des Moines, Iowa.

Albany comes in with a 4-3 road record, which is better than their .500 home record. Their scoring is pretty balanced with 4 guys averaging around 10 or more per game, as sophomore Peter Hooley (14.8) leads all scorers. They have not played a schedule against any big schools, and Drake may be their firmest opponent to date.

Drake Bulldogs vs. Albany Great Danes - 12/23/13

Their stats are pretty average relatively to schools with similar records, but they are a great free throw shooting team at 76.4%. Much like the Great Danes, Drake shoots free throws well (74.2%), which sealed their victory over a pesky Western Michigan team last week. Both teams have close to the same field goal percentage on the season. Though Senior Gary Ricks Junior suffered a season-ending injury a couple weeks ago, fellow senior Richard Carter has picked up the scoring slack at over 20 points per game. They don’t have any prolific rebounders, so all five guys on the court have contributed to a +1.6 rebounding edge over opponents. They don’t have any bad losses – lost to inter-state rival Iowa by 17 on the road, and to New Mexico State by 11 for their sole home loss a week and a half back.

First year head coach Ray Giacoletta has his Bulldogs playing well to start the season and has renewed some hope on campus after a few disappointing seasons in a row. He was an assistant at Gonzaga for 6 seasons before taking the helm at Drake. I’m sure that enriching experience will serve him to bring back a more competitive program for Drake. They look to be among the top 5 teams in the Missouri Valley Conference. I like Drake is this one as they play their last game in front of the home crowd in 2013.

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